A Guide To Your Teeth
Everybody has them but nobody seems to think much about them. What are they? Your teeth! You need your teeth to do lots of things like smiling and eating, but your teeth also need you to take care of them so they continue to look pretty and be healthy and strong.
The best way to take care of your teeth is to always brush them. Brushing your teeth gets rid of all the plaque. Plaque is basically a film of gross sticky stuff that attacks your teeth! When plaque hardens, it becomes something else, called tartar. Tartar makes it very easy to develop cavities. Cavities are decayed areas of teeth that turn into holes. They cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss. Brushing your teeth also helps make sure your gums stay healthy and don’t develop gingivitis, a disease that causes swelling around the gums.
Some people brush their teeth three times a day – when they wake up in the morning (it gets rid of morning breath); right after lunch; and then again before bedtime. Most people skip the lunch brushing and their teeth are fine, so it’s really up to you.
Brushing your teeth can be a lot of fun. It may seem boring at first, but you can turn it into a game! Some toothbrushes are electric and are built so that when you brush, you get to hear music that nobody else can hear! There is a proper way to brush your teeth: start by cleaning the outside of your teeth (the parts people can see) and then the inside of your teeth. Next, go for the teeth at the back of your mouth. Don’t forget that your tongue needs brushing too, but gently.
Toothpaste is really the key to good tooth health. Before it was invented, people used to scrape their teeth with things like eggshells or burnt animal hooves! Some people even used charcoal. In 1914, there were toothpastes with fluoride, which is still used today to get rid of cavities.
Even brushing every day doesn’t stop some problems from developing. Some people develop bad breath. Others have a problem with teeth grinding. Some people are interested in teeth whitening, which can be done by a dentist. Some toothpaste can also help whiten teeth. Some people have problems with sensitive teeth and have to use special toothpaste.
Another tooth issue you may encounter as you get older is what to do about your wisdom teeth. They sometimes grow where there isn’t any more room, so they push the other teeth forward and it becomes very painful. However, there are pros and cons to getting them removed. Some people don’t actually have any problems at all, making surgery a definite con because there’s no need for it. But wisdom teeth can cause gum disease and crowding, so getting them removed gets rid of those problems. A dentist should examine you to determine if removal is the best option. If you end up having surgery, pay close attention to your postoperative care instructions so you heal quickly.
Lots of new parents worry about their baby’s first teeth and are unsure if they should brush them or not. Parents should actually start wiping a baby’s gums even before a tooth comes out, and once the teeth develop, they should invest in a baby toothbrush and start brushing. New parents also worry about when they should start taking their child to a dentist. Most dentists recommend that a child be brought in around their first birthday. Parents also worry about how thumb sucking will affect their child’s teeth. It can cause the upper front baby teeth to be pushed forward and it can also push the lower teeth back. However, it doesn’t affect the permanent teeth if it’s stopped before age 6.
Teeth are amazing things, and if you take care of them, they’ll take care of you!
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